Potatoes are a hardy staple of numerous dishes across a whole range of cultures. You can eat them mashed, roasted, fried, baked, sautéed, or as part of a salad or soup and they are the fourth most consumed crop in the world, after rice, wheat, and corn. But as it turns out, potatoes have many other uses outside of your cooking pot. Some of them are remarkably useful, others are great fun to try, but all of them are bound to surprise you! Here are some ways you can use our potatoes outside of the dinner table.
1. Remove Stains
Foods like turmeric, berries, and beets are fabulous additions to any meal, but they have a habit of leaving their traces all over your hands. It can take a lot of scrubbing with normal soap to remove these stains, and it’s really hard to reach underneath your nails. Don’t fear though, just keep half a potato back when preparing the dish and rub it over the affected area to magically remove the blemish! Make sure you get right under your nails too. This will work well on grass and ink stains as well.
2. Make a Hot or Cold Compress
This is one you might have read about in books, and it’s been used for centuries. Potatoes retain their temperature for a surprisingly long time so if you are out and about on a cold night, keep a couple of hot potato slices in your gloves or pockets. Similarly, if you need to keep cool, use a frozen or chilled potato. If you want to ease aches and pains, then make a hot or cold compress using potato slices inside a sock.
3. Clean Your Windows
Potatoes make for a terrific non-toxic glass cleaner. Take a raw, uncooked potato and rub it over your windows, car windscreen, or even eyeglasses, before wiping away the juice with a clean cloth. You will be left with gleaming glass, without damaging your hands or leaving the smell of chemicals up your nostrils. This works well on clear plastic like swimming or ski goggles as well.
4. Use Potato Juice for Your Ailments
Okay, so potato juice might not sound like the yummiest mixture in the world, but it has been used for centuries to fight various ailments. It is considered effective against ulcers, sprains, gout, sciatica, heartburn and bruising. The juice is rich in vitamins and it’s dead easy to make. Just put a couple of potatoes in a blender, zap them for thirty seconds and you’re done. Add carrot or cinnamon juice to improve the taste and you have your own homemade medicine.
5. Remove Warts
Warts are a rather unsightly annoyance, and if you get one, you will want to get rid of it. There’s no need to go and have it lazered off though, just treat it with a raw potato. Carefully rub the cut end of the potato across the wart, and leave the juice on. Repeat the process every day until the wart is banished for good!
6. Remove a Broken Light Bulb from a Socket
This use of potatoes is trumpeted by numerous sources! At some point in your life, you’ve probably faced the annoyance of a light bulb breaking as you attempt to unscrew it. You might be wondering why companies can’t design bulbs that don’t do this, but in the meantime, you have a trusty potato to help you deal with the problem. Cut the potato in half, and gently press the flat side on to the remainder of the bulb. When the bulb is firmly inserted, you can simply screw it out.
7. Shine Your Silverware
If your cutlery is cloudy and your trinkets are tarnished, why not use a potato to restore their sparkle? You can rub a raw potato over the items if you like, but I find it best to soak them in potato water. This also means you don’t have to use extra potatoes to perform the task, simply use the water from the batch you have boiled for your dinner. Add any peeled skins into the water for great results.
8. Feed Your Geraniums
The nutrients in potatoes will help your pot plants grown. You can either carve a small hole in the potato and plant the stem of the flower inside it, before putting the whole thing into the soil; or you can sprinkle some potato shavings into the soil around your already growing flowers to give them a fantastic, natural boost.
9. Sort Out Your Skin
Potatoes are great for your skin, so making yourself a potato face mask once a week can reap rewards. You only need to use mashed potato mixed with water and leave the resulting paste on your face for 30 minutes. A couple of slices of potato can also be used to reduce the appearance of puffy eyes and black circles, and are a great alternative to the more widely used cucumber. The ability of potatoes to clear up minor rashes and acne have been known for centuries!
10. Soothe a Headache
Potatoes have been used to help ease headaches for centuries, and you will only need a few slices. You can rub them into your temples, or for more sustained relief, fix them against your forehead using a headband or bandage.